To calculate how much money you’ll need in retirement, try this exercise. Visualize yourself in retirement and break out your anticipated expenses into “needs,” “wants” and “wishes.” Your needs are your foundational floor and should include your day-to-day expenses for food, shelter and health care. Your wants are your discretionary expenses for things like travel, consumer goods and recreation. Your wishes should include your “stretch goals” – these may include things like establishing an endowment for your favorite charity or setting up a trust fund for the grandkids’ education.
One way to estimate if you’re currently on track to be able to fund your needs, wants and wishes in retirement is to use our myOrangeMoney® interactive educational experience – check it out.
Go with the flow
After running the numbers, are you on track or coming up a little short? Two quick steps that can make a meaningful difference are to adjust your savings rate and make sure your assets are properly invested. If you’re flexible with today’s “must-haves” and can adjust your savings rate, you may find that you can actually pull off a comfortable retirement by reallocating your cash flow and diversifying your investments.
Could less be more?
The key to reaching realistic retirement goals may lie in changing the way you think about retirement. Instead of focusing on how much you want to do and have, maybe think in terms of how little you really need to be content. No one’s suggesting you live a bare-bones existence. But if you’re willing to make a few adjustments in your expectations, you might be surprised by how close you are to accumulating a nest egg that’ll keep you on track for retirement.